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Men Who Hide Their Sexual Preference Are At Risk Of HIV Infection, Study Claims

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A new study found that men who do not disclose their sexual preference could be in danger of catching an HIV infection.

The New Study

Health journal The Lancelet published a study produced by a University of Edinburgh research team. The team found that nondisclosed men who had sex with other men were severely underestimating the risk of catching HIV. The team noted that this group of men could exclusively acquire the sexually transmitted disease from each other.

The team shared that this group felt uncomfortable disclosing their sexuality because they were at risk of being ostracized by their community. Due to their fear of rejection, the men are unlikely to socialize at the same venues that openly gay counterparts attend. Another finding that the team found was that the closeted men would be less receptive to view HIV prevention advertisements and to seek medical care.

Looking For Patterns

The team focused on looking at HIV transmission patterns in the United Kingdom. They used a national database called the UK HIV Drug Resistance Database. It identified HIV positive people living in the country. The team looked carefully at 60,000 samples and found that the HIV genetic code rapidly changed. Scientists began to determine how the infections spread.

They found that 6 percent of undisclosed men who pretended to be heterosexual at the time they were diagnosed with the sexually transmitted disease had sex with other men. Researchers also discovered that there was no evidence that the nondisclosed men would spread the HIV infection to either female partners or openly gay men. The study also mentioned that the nondisclosed men probably had fewer sex partners.

The Study's Author Speaks Out

Dr. Manon Ragonnet, the study's lead author, corresponded with Tech Times. She noted that they were surprised to discover that the number of men who have sex with men (MSM) to self-reported heterosexual men then women was minimal. Ragonnet added that they would also advise health practitioners to start conversations with the nondisclosed men in hopes to prevent them from catching HIV.

"They need to make their patients feel safe to discuss their sexual behaviors and develop trusting relationships with them," wrote Ragonnet.

HIV In The News

Bill Gates had to tell President Donald Trump on multiple occasions the most significant difference between HIV and HPV. The Microsoft co-founder revealed at a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation meeting that he met President Trump twice in December 2016 and March 2017. At both of their encounters, Gates claimed that President Trump wanted clarification on the difference between HIV and HPV. He also mentioned that the President asked him about vaccines and wanted his opinion on starting a commission to investigate the adverse effects of vaccines.

Daryll Rowe, 27, was found guilty of deliberately trying to infect his partners with HIV. Rowe reportedly damaged the condoms he used and had sex with his partners. He would tease them that he affected them with the sexually transmitted disease. Half of his partners contracted HIV. Rowe was the first man in England to be charged with the crime.

Tech Times contacted one of the study's authors, Professor Andrew Leigh Brown, for a comment on this story.

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